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America’s capacity to generate carbon-free energy from solar and wind power grew during 2022.
Climate Central’s WeatherPower™ tool produces daily estimates and forecasts of solar and wind generation at local scale across the continental United States. To study America’s growing renewable electricity capacity and generation, we analyzed WeatherPower data from 2022 and compared the findings to data from 2021.
We found that capacity to generate electricity from solar and wind increased across the country to more than 238 gigawatts (GW) in 2022—up nearly 13 GW from 2021. The U.S. generated 683,130 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity from solar (27%) and wind (73%) combined in 2022—up 16% from 588,471 GWh in 2021.
The electricity generated from solar and wind in 2022 is enough to power the equivalent of 64 million average American households. At the average retail price of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2022 (as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration), this equates to $82 billion of revenue generation.
The largest contributions to national solar and wind electricity generation came from a few states—for example, California generated 58,664,084 megawatt-hours (MWh) of solar and Texas generated 129,578,478 MWh of wind. But many states saw relative growth in capacity and generation for solar and wind.
These data—combined with federal capacity forecasts—suggest that America’s ability to produce electricity from sunlight and wind can grow fast enough to support net-zero carbon emissions targets in the U.S. by 2050.
This report and supplementary data show:
- where solar and wind capacity increased in 2022, and by how much
- which states were the biggest producers of solar and wind energy in 2022
- what this means for our progress toward renewable energy goals